More care over the vulnerable

Mirror Group Newspapers has paid out £40,000 plus costs and
apologised to Sinisa Nadazdin, the 27-year-old Christian volunteer whom
the Sunday Mirror wrongly identified as a child trafficker.

MediaWise was first approached for help in clearing Nadazdin’s name the day after the story appeared in 2004.

Montenegrin
police found no evidence to support the Mirror’s story. He still faces
prison or steep fines if the authorities decide to proceed with charges
of collaborating with a foreign journalist.

The Mirror’s inaccurate story and news of the defamation charges appeared on websites around the world.

Nadazdin
says the past year has been a “nightmare” for his family, and the
relatives of the children whose pictures appeared in the Sunday Mirror
with their names and price tags ranging from £1,000 to £2,500.

“I
thought that by assisting the journalist I was helping to protect
children,” says Nadazdin, who now hopes the Montenegrin authorities
will drop all charges. “I could not ever have believed that things
would turn out in the way they did.” He now faces the daunting task of
trying to put the record straight via the worldwide web, which ensured
that his story entered media mythology. Meanwhile it is to be hoped
that lessons will be learned all round about the importance of
integrity in journalism, especially when dealing with our society’s
most vulnerable groups.

Mike Jempson Director, MediaWise

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